Stern, Volume 1: The undertaker, the tramp and the assassin by Frédéric Maffre and Julien Maffre (Illustrator)

I was provided a free copy of this novel from NetGalley.com for an honest review.

“1880. Kansas. Elijah Stern, the local undertaker, leads a calm and solitary life, until one day he is asked to carry out an autopsy on a man found dead in a brothel. Taking on the role of forensic pathologist, he discovers that the man had not died of natural causes and finds himself involved, against his better wishes, in the middle of a bonafide investigation. But Stern has no idea that the key to this case lies in his own past…”

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Image courtesy of goodreads.com

This is a great graphic novel, albeit slow paced. It isn’t plodding or lazy but instead the text meanders from one frame to the next.  Much how I would think a cowboy of the old west would mosey. I don’t know if that is a stylistic choice by the authors, or just how the authors write, but it is effective.

I think there is a great need for graphic novels set in the old west. It was an interesting era and it is rife with historical misinterpretation. Really, the past is interesting and exciting enough without having to dress it up in silver spurs and the OK coral. The authors really did justice to the time frame. Plus the lead character is likable without being annoying, and flawed enough to seem realistic. All and all a great read and I am looking forward to reading more from this author duo.

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